Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Around the Edge of Habit
One of the reasons that Lynn Brice Rosen suggested playing around with my guitar during a lie down is "A musician's instrument is a powerful stimulus, often triggering patterned responses even when nothing's being played." So very true. This was illustrated last night at my session with David Jernigan when, as I was semi-supine on the floor, he simply plucked an open string as the guitar lay in the case. There was a flutter in my chest, almost a longing, and a bit of who is that playing my guitar. As he continued to play open strings I worked with staying with my body but the distraction of merely hearing my guitar was pulling me. When I could see him begin to lift the guitar from the case, I had another reaction, but then he set it back.
Tonight I was preparing to play, by first doing a lie down to release the toll of my day. As I hit the floor I wondered, suppose I did not play after the lie down but did something else. Seeing an opportunity to exercise a real choice here, I choose to not move to playing right after the lie down. Then the stories began, but then the time doing constructive rest is wasted if you just clean your desk. You could sit with the guitar. Or play your dumbek instead, at least this would be musical I reasoned. But the habitual pull of moving from lie down needed to be inhibited. Upon arising I sorted through some old food sections for a few minutes. Then as I moved toward the guitar I began singing and even began to dance. Some spirited playing ensued.
Habits are so strong, and sometimes even very good habits need to be examined and set free.
Photo by Michael C Clark